JID’s third full-length studio album, “The Forever Story”, does it all. It is lyrically impeccable, hard-hitting, yet mellow where it wants to be and offers profound commentary while still maintaining a catchy, memorable feel.
JID’s strong lyricism shines on this project, while the production remains rhythmically and melodically complex without distracting from the vocals. The album often uses acoustic-sounding drums and electric bass (mixed in with 808s on other tracks), including on “Can’t Punk Me”.
Interesting synths and melodic verses from JID grace many of these tracks, as well as creative sample chops. His lyricism is powerful, whether he is rapping fast or is taking a more laid-back approach. While more mellow songs like “Kody Blu 31” and “Stars” juxtapose powerful songs like “Crack Sandwich” and “Lauder Too”, the album is extremely cohesive, and all tracks are important in the journey JID takes you throughout your listen.
There is no mistaking the commentary that JID has put forth throughout these 15 tracks. Songs like “Raydar” bring up systemic issues that African Americans face, particularly regarding police brutality and white supremacy. There is a motif that throughout hardship and tough times, perseverance and unity are necessary in order to begin overcoming these issues. This is true both in the context of JID’s family (as seen on “Crack Sandwich”) and on a larger scale, such as for marginalized communities.
No matter which angle you analyze this album from, it holds up. It is a lyrical masterpiece that reflects JID’s well-known sound. Its production is well-balanced and its message profound. It is enjoyable whether you want a deep commentary or a musical masterpiece — if you give this album a good listen, you will get both. I’m going to be listening to this project much more in the future; it is one of the best hip-hop albums of the year so far.
You can read the other half of the review here.